HAMPDEN, Maine — Searsport resident Alan Talgo just bought a house and decided Saturday morning to take a 25-mile drive to the Community Church of the Open Door for its second annual Great Giveaway to see what he could get for his new home.
The ride in his old red truck was well worth the gas, he said.
“The place I just got — the only thing missing for appliances is the fridge,” he said as he and his nephew, Matthew Talgo from Appleton, loaded items. “I got a foosball table, a fridge, an old wooden table, a floor lamp and a chair.”
The items he got for free easily would have cost him at least a couple hundred dollars, said his mom, Phyllis Talgo of Appleton, who came along for the ride.
“We all live on fixed incomes so it was great,” she said of the church giveaway.
Hundreds of items, donated by church and community members, disappeared fast during the free yard sale.
“We started at 9 [a.m.] and we’re pretty much down to nothing and it’s only like 10:30,” said church member Holly Cain, of Dedham.
Cain, her husband, Zach, and fellow organizer Esther Littlefield of Glenburn are on the church’s missions team. Around 20 church volunteers, including 4-year-old Eli Cain, helped to set up tables, display items and help people load the items they selected.
“We hope to make it an annual event,” Littlefield said.
People were so excited about the free yard sale, “We had people already here at 7:30 a.m.,” she said. Some participants offered money for the free items, but their offerings were turned down. The event was not about raising money, it was about giving back to the community, Littlefield said.
“We’re a Christian church and wanted to share the love of God and help the community — help the people in this area,” she said.
Phyllis Talgo said the items her son acquired will help him make his new house a home.
“It’s a blessing,” she said.